I remember it didn’t take long to view all the footage the networks had on September 11th. But day after day… I couldn’t stop watching. There was nothing really new to learn. But it was a constant. The TV with the news on. What else could happen? And where? Were we safe? Was anybody safe?
I was doing a morning radio show in Dallas, Texas ten years ago. I had just asked a trivia question that had some links to the JFK assassination (“who is Nick Beef?”) …and the question was never answered (he’s a comedian who bought the plot next to Lee Harvey Oswald, in case you were wondering). The days were confusing, full of anger and grief. I found myself not knowing how to behave. Do you remember feeling numb at the enormity and intensity of it all?
I remember questioning how to ever do an entertainment show again. When will we joke? When will there be humor again. When will it be OK to have fun again. And here, I believe, David Letterman showed the way. It was his New York that was struck, not Leno’s Los Angeles – so the pain was closer here. He brought on fireman and police officers. The mayor and Dan Rather. He talked about the tragedy. He was serious. And slowly, bit by bit, he showed us how to smile at things. Different things. And on the radio, we took his lead… guided by a man who helped this country heal.